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What’s your favourite color?
Green or pink depending on the day.
What self-care habits do you intertwine into your daily routine?
Simple things that help me stay present and mindful. The simpler the better. I might re-adjust my posture, drink some water, watch my breath, look at a flower… Whatever it takes to re-centre myself in the present.
What's your favourite book?
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi.
Who can you go to when you need to get something off your chest?
My best friends; my mom, my boyfriend and my childhood bff depending on the situation.
What’s your safe place?
Anywhere there is water (the beach, a waterfall, the shower)
Have you ever dealt with anxiety? If so, how do you calm your mind?
I believe it’s very hard not to have some sort of experience with anxiety be it brief or diagnosable. It’s an increasingly fast-paced world especially within collective cultures that do not centre our natural methods of coping with stress. We are fine-tuned to the conditions of our evolution and therefore need the very things that are increasingly hard to achieve in our society (a balanced diet, free time, a rich social life, exercise, nature, etc). That said,
I have only just begun to understand my own journey with anxiety, specifically social anxiety. I am still exploring effective methods, but lately I have been mindful of my thoughts when feeling anxious. I like to remind myself that just because things are hard does not mean there is anything wrong with me.
Have you ever gotten yourself out of a dark place? Or have you ever needed to help someone else out? If so, how?
I honestly have not allowed myself to stay negative for too long since my brother was born. We are ten years apart and at that age I had started to understand the seriously troubling ways life is unfair as well as how it wore on those around me. As a young empath I was devastated for reasons I could not understand or explain. Somewhere between seeing my brother be born and also being able to take care of him, I realized it’s my duty to radiate positivity, if not for everyone else, at least for him. In answering I have noticed that we tend to think that simply because being in a dark place is hard, getting out of it must be, too. Maybe it tends to be that way, but sometimes someone or something comes along and suddenly the hardest thing is the easiest.
Do you think social media affects your mental health or has any other negative impacts on you? If so, how do you best deal with it?
I am personally very able to check out (or maybe unable to check in?) when something is not making me happy. I will stop checking my whole phone BEFORE I realize I am off balance from using social apps in detrimental ways. I think being on the cusp of the millennials and gen z helps me with that regulation. I need to exist in the physical world first, but also feel that if I do not participate in social media I will be left in the dust on an existential level. I see the value in such a complex tool, but also the danger of not fully understanding the extent of the power I am utilising. Unfamiliar territory is usually dangerous because you can’t even see the danger coming. I try to read my own reactions and state because I probably won’t be understanding how these algorithms are affecting my perception any time soon.
What’s your biggest fear?
While potentially risky, I believe in hunting down fears in search of clarity and transformation. I have found that I can start to make a real, new sense of life the more I am gentle and honest with my inner confrontations. I would therefore say my biggest fear is fear itself because it has such a frightening capacity to warp perception and snowball into becoming everything you know. I have noticed that a lot (if not all) of the times I get in my own way it is due to the senseless fight or flight responses fear can incite.
What’s the biggest change you can identify within yourself in the past year?
I am not so scared of what people think. I am so sensitive about what people really mean in their words and actions because it really does matter. At the same time, people are going to think terrible things sometimes, even if they don’t mean them or intend to act on them. We have so much fruitless judgement circulating around. I realized if judgement is being passed on then it is not being conquered.
What’s one of the hardest things you’ve had to go through in life? How did you get through it?
Losing my grandmother. She was strong in ways I am sometimes afraid to be able to attain. You can never go back to how things were, so I will never feel the same again… But my feelings about her passing are better adjusted. The more I am able to live in her memory the less I feel that I am without her.
What advice would you give to your 16-year-old self?
Take every chance you can to empower someone or something you believe in and balance that empowerment between others and yourself. Stand up when it is time to stand up and you never have to go back again and redo the work.
If you could change one thing within society, what would that be?
People’s understanding and respect for their own ability, power and magic.